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Keywords:

  • attachment theory;
  • cognitive impairment;
  • gerontology;
  • intergenerational caregiving;
  • nursing;
  • role theory;
  • Taiwan

Abstract

Title. Correlates of consequences of intergenerational caregiving in Taiwan

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to test a theoretical model of factors related to consequences of intergenerational caregiving among Taiwanese caregivers of cognitively impaired ageing relatives.

Background.  With the ageing of the population worldwide, care of elders has become a pressing issue. Intergenerational caregiving behaviours may reflect cultural values and beliefs, but create conflict for adult children between traditional obligations to ageing parents and the capacity to provide care.

Methods.  Adult caregivers (n = 130) of cognitively impaired ageing relatives were recruited from three home care agencies in northern Taiwan between September 2003 and February 2004. Role and attachment theories were combined to extend the understanding of the consequences of intergenerational caregiving.

Results.  Caregiving consequences (role strain and role reward) were not polar opposites on a unidimensional continuum. Caregiver role conflict and role performance had positive relationships with role strain, whereas caregiving resources and role expectation had an inverse relationship. For caregiver role reward, only role performance and secure-attached style were positively correlated. Role demand was not a statistically significant predictor of either role strain or role reward. Furthermore, secure-attached style explained additional variance in role strain and role reward. Moderating effects involving secure attachment with other predictors of role strain and role reward were supported.

Conclusion.  By incorporating role and attachment theories, our model gives a more complete view of intergenerational caregiving in an Asian culture. These findings may be applicable to other countries with Chinese populations.